A few weeks ago, I quit my job as a preschool assistant teacher and a few days later, began work on illustrating another book for Debbie Rankin, a local author I've illustrated 2 books for already. That, along with print sales and a couple of pieces selling too, as well as an upcoming exciting contract job in Nashville in a couple weeks, have secured in my mind that I can attempt to make being a full time artist and illustrator possible again. I'm so much happier being on my own schedule again. I go to bed feeling fulfilled, but not exhausted. I decided to start up this blog again since I have the time to devote to it again.
As a welcome back post, I thought I'd share what my current studio space looks like as well as share what my tools of the trade are. I love seeing detailed studio posts from other artists myself.
So, there it is. It's a mess, but it's kind of inspiring when it's this way. There are two chairs there because I'm currently lacking a chair that adequately supports my back, so I've been switching back and forth between those two (with a number of pillows). To the right begins my husband's workspace... He's a custom framer. We both work from home, and to our mutual pleasant surprise, it's working out quite well so far.
So! Let's get started with a tour of the crap that's on my drafting table.
1. Graphite transfer paper. This is really useful when I need to save time and just trace over any reference material rather than draw it out by hand. I don't consider it cheating since I'd get the same result anyway. Some artists feel differently, but eh. It works for me.
2. My fancy box of watercolors and gouaches. My supply used to be significantly smaller, but my mother-in-law, who is also a painter, gave me a bunch of her watercolors. So, if you see me using colors I haven't used much in the past, that's why.
3. Salt, for use with watercolor to create texture.
4. Acrylic UV matte varnish spray. I use this on top of my finished paintings. Because I don't like framing my work and prefer to stretch the watercolor paper in the same style as canvas, I need to still protect the paper in the way that glass does, so this is my solution.
5. Rubbing alcohol, another way to get texture with watercolor.
6. Miskit (friskit), for creating masks.
7. One of my palettes. This one was recently used on a piece I finished a couple weeks ago. I tend to reserve a palette per painting so that my colors stay consistent and don't get mixed with another set.
8. Painter's tape.
9. Rock salt, which does the same thing as the regular salt, just bigger texture.
1. My Macbook. It's not the best idea for me to have it there, because I take a lot of "breaks" to check my mail, update twitter, check facebook, etc. But I need it there to check references and my iPod was stolen, so it also serves as my source of music (currently on a mix of Tom Waits).
2. This is one of 4 pages of preliminary sketches for the illustrations I'm working on now.
3. Some of the completed illustrations for the upcoming book.
4. My kneaded eraser. I love this thing. I freak out if I can't find it.
5. My favorite mechanical pencil. I prefer to draw with it rather than a traditional graphite pencil. Much cleaner and less sharpening to deal with.
6. My trusty ruler. Often ends up on the bottom of the pile (as you can see here).
7. Painter's tape.
8. Some chocolate I devoured earlier.
1. Various pens. Sharpie, Microns, ball-point, etc.
2. My pencil case. This has been so useful when I'm on the go and take my sketchbook with me somewhere. I don't have to spend what feels like hours looking for my drawing materials at the bottom of my purse.
3. Gold paint pen, various brushes not in use, random things that find themselves there.
4. My phone.
5. Colored pencils. I've just recently begun using them with my paintings. I have an embarrassingly small collection of decent pencils. I'll have to remedy this soon.
1. Trusty paper towel. While I often find it on the floor by accident, it's my go-to undo button.
2. My favorite paints. I'm always running out of this color because I use it so much. (Payne's Gray).
3. Yup, that's a mallard duck mug that serves as my water cup.
4. Yes, that's a toothbrush. My old toothbrush which I retired a few days ago to use to "spray" miskit to create a texture.
5. My current palette for the illustrations.
6. My most used brushes. Unlike most artists I know, I keep a very small collection actually. I don't really need any more than that because I get everything done with that variety. Plus, working in watercolor keeps them cleaner and not needing to be replaced often.
7. That was previously used for india ink when I was doing children's silhouettes, but is now being used to keep pencil shavings and a pencil sharpener.
8. A maskoid nib thing. Actually very useful! I love this thing.
1. Stretcher bars, not yet with paper on it.
2. Supply of unused paper.
3. Two pieces I've sketched out that just need painting.
4. Graphite paper (used, and ready to be reused).
5. The netherlands. Things end up on this floor that I forget exist. Usually shoes.
Welp, that's it! I hope you guys enjoy! Stay tuned for more updates, as this will likely become one more vehicle for my "breaks" aka, distractions. <3